My hand runs along the cool plaster wall as if picketing a fence, but my fingers find only the smooth curves of this ancient structure. Its coarse, sandpapery texture just begs to be touched. It sighs and breathes, a living thing, but very dead. It’s like it knows I’m here again, and thankful that I am. But its just a wall I remind myself, and nothing compared to where we’re heading. Still, maybe the life on the other side lends some of its liveliness to this mud and stone. Maybe it knows I’ve come again, maybe it’s beckoning me further still.

Snapped out of my pondering trance by the abrupt slosh of a puddle disturbed, I giggle. How else do you respond to such a startle? The rain fell, as it always does, and the puddles collected in their respective spots. Always the same. Maybe they call dibs on their locations. That would be silly. But maybe the view is better here or there. I must admit, this puddle picks a good spot each time. The ripples of my interruption still fragment the vision, but like a kaleidoscope only enhance the incredible reflection of some patch of sky above. The only blue in this muted world. Except my dress. Somehow the grey of my dress seems to have soaked up color from my last visit to this place, blue slowly stretching its way up the fibers of the fabric. Maybe they’ll dye the whole thing blue one day. I really like blue.
I continue on. I watch my steps and get mesmerized by my rain boots. They’re so bright. Like glistening gold. It almost hurts to look at but I can’t take my eyes off them; how the bright sky above makes a brilliant white spot of light on the shiny plastic that moves and sparkles. They’re nearly perfectly clean. I only wear them for special occasions, and the only special occasion that deserves them is this one. This little journey. The corridor of quiet street curves gently to the right and I curve with it, fingers still brushing the wall. I thrill and my heart leaps when I see far down the way the beam of light pouring through an archway. I know that light. It’s warm and makes everything else dim in contrast. My legs quicken as if of their own accord, yearning to run and find and be found. But it’s still a long way off and my mind wanders again.
My thumb idly fumbles with the husk in my hand and I look gingerly at it, remembering the splendor this shell of a flower once had. But even the prettiest flowers don’t last. Beautiful ones die just as quickly as others. None are spared of mortality.
But there are more.
Just through that archway there are fields and fields of them. Rolling hills alight with the glow of The Light. There are paths to be made and trees to climb and streams to splash in and every good thing. And when I must return to where I’m from, as it seems I always must, I’ll pick another flower: another token of the Land of Light to brighten my way. It too will fade, but I’ll come back. There are always more flowers and always more light


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